Scientists have developed a new technology that seems to pretty impressive and unbelievable too. With this new technology, you can turn any surface such as walls, furniture, etc. into a touchscreen. And, what's interesting is that you can need tools that are as simple as spray paint.
The researchers have revealed that the actual trick behind this is to apply the electrically-conductive materials to objects or surfaces or make objects using the conductive materials. On attaching electrodes to the conductive materials, electric field tomography technique is used to sense the position of a finger touch. This was demonstrated by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, US. Chris Harrison, assistant professor at Carnegie's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) says, "For the first time, we have been able to take a can of spray paint and put a touch screen on almost anything."
So far, the large touch surfaces were pretty expensive and were limited only to the research labs. With the new technology that is dubbed Electrick, the conductive touch surfaces can be developed by just applying paints, carbon-loaded films or bulk plastics. As a result, you can come up with touch input devices that are accurate.
Like many other touchscreens, even Electrick depends on the shunting effect. It means that when a finger touches the touchpad, it eventually shunts a bit of electric current to ground. By attaching multiple electrodes to the object or its conductive coating, the researchers have shown that they could localize when and where the shunting occurs.
With the Electrick technology, it is said that one can come up with an interactive smartphone case that can be used to open applications such as camera or game controller at any position as per their convenience.